tv This Week in Northern California PBS February 18, 2012 1:30am-2:00am PST
closed captioning of this program is made possible by the firemen's fund foundation. >> hello, san francisco! >> president obama fills his campaign chest in california this week with several sold-out fund-raisers. the white house responds to criticism of the administration's environmental record and its federal budget plan. advocates for domestic abuse victims mount a billboard near the hall of justice. >> we want to send this message loud and clear. domestic violence is never a private matter. >> belva: their target is embattled san francisco sheriff ross mira keepmy as his trial
for domestic vie lebs approaches. >> how can you make progress for san francisco when there's so much resistance coming out of washington these days? i'm craig miller. i'll have a climate watch conversation with epa administrator jared blumenfeld. >> belva: on the 70th anniversary of the japanese-american internment, memories of manzanar. >> we had a regular room with cots and that was it. >> belva: coming up next.
>> belva: good even are. i'm belva davis and welcome to "this week in northern california." joining me tonight are carla marinucci, senior political writer for the "san francisco chronicle." and rachel gordon, city hall reporter also with the "criterion ankle." rachel, what kind of impact has this domestic violence case against the sheriff had on advocates for the victims? >> it's really galvanized this community really from the get-go. the thing that made them most angry was on his swearing-in day on january 8th, ross meirkarimi said this case involving allegations he was abusive to his wife, grabbed her arm, caused bruising, he addressed reporters and said, it's a private matter, it's a family matter. that right there got people furious. what we saw this week was mentioned in the intro, was that they raised more than $5,000 to put up a billboard in the south of market, four blocks from the hall of justice where mirkarimi
will be facing trial, that says domestic violence is never a private matter. they hope to raise a few more thousand dollars to also put a spanish language billboard up. they're saying that comment alone sets the whole idea of domestic violence back a decade or two, before the law enforcement community took it seriously, before there was something there was supposed to be zero tolerance for. ross mirkarimi said, my comments were taken out of context, that wasn't what i meant, i was saying let us deal with it as a family, don't air our dirty laundry.galvanized, protests at city hall, they've been meeting with mayor ed lee, kind of keeping the drum beat going on this. as we said, the billboard was the latest. >> belva: is this a large group or just a small group that got together? >> there's something in the city calls, in san francisco, called the domestic violent consortium. it brings together the people
who do the shelters, advocacy work. even san francisco's jails have a very robust domestic violence program for the inmates to try to take them -- hold themselves accountable, make reparations, poll jitds to their victims, work with them, so there are people involved in that as well who are in this consoared up. a couple of dozen people at this billboard unveiling, a very narrow sidewalk in the south of market. it is a strong group that's been around for a while, they want to make sure the message, people aren't complacent about domestic violence. you have to remember these are crimes that happen largely behind closed doors, you don't know about it, it's not a street mugging. >> these are two high-profile people. ilya ilyawna lopez, actress, well-known. ross mirkarimi, well-known in san francisco. why are there so few reporters coming forward? in public a long time, not a lot
of the voices. >> interesting question. mirkarimi was a member of the board of supervisors for seven years, plastic bag ban in san francisco, he was one of the founding members of the california green party, worked for max gonzalez when he was running for mayor, he's been around for a while. there's been a lot of silence and that's making some of the victims' advocates upset about it. clearly from the get-go, he's innocent until he's proven guilty. >> belva: there's been no trial. >> he's plead the not gritty to three charges involving this incident. his wife has said publicly her husband has not done it. the only high-profile person who's come around is art agnos. it's a very difficult case for public officials. the mayor of san francisco and the board of supervisors might be called upon at some point to judge his fate. they could try to remove him
from office. they legally should stay out of it. >> belva: the whole issue of domestic violence has risen to another level, and that is a big debate going on in washington about the federal law. >> it's interesting, it's called the violence against women act that was passed first time in 1992 when bill clinton was president. always received a lot of bipartisan support. this has -- gives federal money to help states for domestic violence, for stalking, sexual assaults. it's everything for education, to help people find safe houses, rape kits. you can go down the list of things. this time, just about a week ago, the senate judiciary committee passed it out but every republican on that committee voted against it. they say, look, we're not against helping victims of domestic violence. what they didn't like was three provisions. one, more programming for gays and lesbians. it says you cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian victims in your program. it would increase the number of visas for undocumented
immigrants who might be victims of domestic violence so they can stay in the country legally. it also for the first time would give indian tribes jurisdiction over nonindians if there's domestic violence cases on their property. republicans who are against this thing said, if you take those out we'll be fine with it, we'll go to the floor for a full senate vote. >> belva: what's the final day to get something passed out? >> that hasn't been announced but it looks like it will probably pass -- there is a republican co-sponsored, democrat co-sponsor. as i said in the past it's been almost unanimous vote, i believe. what's going to be interesting to see if there's going to be movement in taking out some of these controversial provisions. >> belva: we'll stay with washington via california in this case. talking about the president's visit here this week. >> that's right. >> belva: one big fat fund-raising day. >> absolutely right. you were there, belva.
the masonic auditorium where really the message this week was, show me the money. barack obama's message to california. boy, $8 million on this fund-raising trip. just a lot -- most of it in high-dollar amounts. $35,800 a plate in san francisco for two different events. in one of them he only spent 10 minutes speaking to the actual people. the other event they didn't get to hear al green and him do a duet. >> belva: al green was there to sing. you have to tell people what that's about. >> you have to give the big donors some love. obama did a huge fund-raiser at the masonic. really the message for the president is going up and down california, repeating, is look, you wanted change in 2008, i haven't been able to give you everything you want, but who's more for the middle class?
who's more for the goals of ending the wars, creating infrastructure, protecting the environment? that's what i'm for. and the republicans are not going to get that done. that is his message in california. >> belva: was he also campaigning for passage of his budget? >> that was only part of the speeches that he gave. we saw him at the masonic auditorium talk about some of the goals. the budget is a tough situation. and actually, that one actually went through this week. not a lot of attention because there was a lot of back and forth in washington over the payroll tax. and of course obama was out of town fund-raising. but the fact is there's some issues in the federal budget that are concerning to many people, including many progressives who are out there in front of the nob hill masonic. obama did a lot of things in san francisco. he wasn't just there, he made some stops in chinatown and other places too. >> i just want to ask, when you talk about budget, we're going to talk about the campaign budget. i heard you say this was going to be a $1 billion, a "b,"
billion-dollar campaign for president of the united states. >> that's what they're expecting to raise. with these super pacs, that is what jay carney, brace secretary, said on the way here. they had better raise a lot of money, the republicans are doing it on their side, and now obama has given his policing to this as well. while originally complaining about it. the fact is we don't know -- he had an event with 20 high-profile people who paid $35,000, we don't know who those people were and no reporters were allowed to sit in. >> belva: such a change in the way presidential candidates deal with the media. media, very little access. i was there. most reporters got nowhere near the president. >> that's right, belva. you saw that. i think very extraordinary. i've covered, since clinton, who used to come to san francisco, local reporters were always given access. even bush i have to say.
who never actually set foot in the city. did give access. this trip was extraordinary. the president went to chinatown, local reporters were never told. were not near him on those events. and on those high-dollar fund-raisers, no local reporters were allowed in. that really is extraordinary. >> it's interesting the chinese restaurant, the patrons who were there, who didn't know the president was going to walk in there, they pulled out their smartphones and were taking videos of it, which went viral on youtube. >> absolutely right. >> i think part of this is all of the -- this is a town where obama always is confronted with protests, hecklers, code pink environmental groups. this is a place where he did the guns -- people clinging to their guns and god -- >> belva: environmental groups had sort of an upper hand in terms of how they look in demonstrations. >> well, yeah. you had people dressed as polar bears out in front. you saw them talking about drilling in the arctic. you had the code pink people who
interrupted his speech. twice. this is a town where he always gets protests. and i think that's one of the reasons for the very tight press. i think they're afraid of one of those youtube moments here. >> belva: a little bit more on the president and the environment coming up. because that's part of the cuts that he's going to be making in this new budget proposal. president obama proposed this budget this week. it includes a $175 million cut to the environmental protection agency. it is the third consecutive year that he's cut funds for the epa. he did, however, propose a $66 million increase for spending in air quality programs and renewed his commitment to reduce greenhouse gases believed to be the main culprit for global warming. last week climate watch senior editor craig miller caught up with the original head of the epa to talk about the agency's top priority. >> it's not every day you see a
federal official hop astride a motorcycle at a press conference. unless, of course, it's an electric motorcycle and a photo op, poster child for renewable energy and green jobs. this clean energy initiative is just one of many priorities jared blumenfeld juggles as administrator of the san francisco-based pacific southwest region of the environmental protection agency. your boss lisa jackson, top administrator at epa, was in town recently. the two of you were touring a company that makes components for electric vehicles. and talking about green jobs. this seems to be kind of a full court press since the state of the union message to get out there and show that the epa is a jobs-generating machine as well as one that protects the environment. is that just come with the territory now? >> where we are as a nation right now is at a time where we
need jobs desperately and we see the economy is growing slowly. also a time where we need environmental protection. so those two things do naturally come together. and the bay area, california, the west generally is a great place to be able to point to businesses like mission motors and you can say they've gone from 40 employees today to 80 employees tomorrow as a result of standards that the epa has come out with that require engines to be cleaner. if you're an innovative company that's really thinking about how to do things differently, to make money for your shareholders, to make your employees successful, and at the same time promote environmental values, we want to help you do that. >> i mentioned the state of the union address in which the president used the word climate only one time. and it was only in the context of saying, probably not going to see any legislation out. kind of a reality check. last year didn't use the word at all in the state of the union
message. contrast to this building where i see posters all over the place with a list of epa priorities and the first on the list is taking action on climate change. so how can you reconcile those two things? >> amazingly despite the political climate that we find ourselves in, a huge amount has been done to combat climate change. epa first at the instruction of the supreme court in 2007, they said epa, you need to look at whether greenhouse gas emissions need to be regulated. we did that in 2009. we came out with an endangerment finding saying greenhouse gases are an endangerment to public health and the environment and that vehicles contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. we then came out with auto manufacturers and came out with rules that will save literally billions of barrels of oil from needing to be imported. those rules are being updated so that by 2025, we'll require every passenger vehicle get 54.5
miles to the gallon. so significant leap forward. >> most of those initiatives are national epa initiatives. how can you, working from your lonely outpost here, in charge of one region of epa, how can you try to effect change, real change and progress on the climate front, again, when the national environment is so difficult and when you've only got one piece of the puzzle here? >> we have a unique region. it stretches from guam and america samoa, hawaii, california, nevada, arizona. all those things, all those places share abundance sunshine, renewable energy's been a big focus of ours in this office. so something the epa does is we clean up superfund sites. we clean up sites that are contaminated. we're doing a map at the moment with department of energy to overlay all those disturbed lands and grid interconnections
so that we can prioritize putting solar really quickly without very much permitting on those sites. so that's one thing that we're doing. >> one of the things you can do regionally to try to move the climate agenda, i guess, is to encourage localities, communities, to engage in this smart growth concept. how's that working? >> epa's been a champion of smart growth from the beginning really working with communities at the community local level to say, how do you design a place like san francisco, which is very dense, it's walkable, it's got public transportation? you don't need to own a car, you can bicycle around, that recuses greenhouse gas emissions a grit deal. there's also oeshtss smart design features. green infrastructure. so things like low-impact developments. rather than having water go through a waste water treatment system it percolates through the cement, through the soil, back out into the bay. thinking about smarter ways of
designing cities and communities that more mimic analysis 10s and also allow people to get out of their car is something that we need to continue pushing. because if you look at the real estate market over the last three years, it's actually fascinating. smart growth has really been fairly robust in an economy where the sprawl is now. the biggest challenge around the country is how we get the san joaquin valley and the l.a. basin into attainment of the clean air act for ozone and very fine accumulate matter, finer than a human hair but has very serious respiratory and other consequences. the biggest issue with lie mat change is people don't understand how it fits into their daily lives. one of the opportunities we have here in california with the nonattainment of the clean air act is to show people that by getting rid of an old diesel locomotive, by getting rid of an
old diesel truck or tractor, replacing it with cleaner texas nothing, we help the environment, we help get into attainment, we help them save money. >> thanks for the time. >> thank you. >> belva: february 19th marks the 70th anniversary of the in10ment of japanese-americans during world war ii. a doctor who was interned at manzanar shares vivid memories of her time in the camp. silhouetted against the backdrop of the snow-capped eastern sierras in southern california, guard towers and military police gates still bear silent witness to one of the darkest chapters in american history. the only thing that seems to move freely is the offering the origami cranes that dance in the wind at the monument in the cemetery at manzanar.
it's hard to imagine a more desolate place. freezing in the winter, with heart-stopping heat in the summer, and sandstorms that could drop you to your knees. manzanar was one of ten japanese-american internment camps built during world war ii following the outbreak of war with japan on december 7th, 1941. in the panic that followed pearl harbor, japanese-american citizens were rounded up and sent to what amounted to prison camps for the duration of the war. the internment camp at manzanar has been turned into a national historic site. >> when people first came here, the barracks were just barely completed if they were complete. so you had bare wood floors. you know. no linoleum or wall board or anything like that. starting in the summer of 1942 they started putting down linoleum and putting in wall board. so the barracks did change a little bit.
still, they were never insulated. they had a single hanging lightbulb. they had an electrical socket. there was no plumbing indoors. the talks sfaucets outside. people ate in a mess hall three times a day. there were latrines and showers separated for men and women. >> reporter: at age 95, dr. masako miura knows the history of manzanar. she is and her family were interned and she was one of three fits who could offer help to people held behind barbed wire. >> they recruited five doctors for manzanar for 10,000 people in there. >> born and raised in pasadena, she's had a remarkable journey. she was like any other young woman growing up in los angeles in the 1930s. she graduated from hollywood high school where she was an excellent student. she would go on to graduate from
the university of southern california in 1937. just as impressively she went on to usc medical school where she was one of two women in her class of 1941. masako was six months into her residency when japan attacked pearl harbor. >> we were kind of surprised because we didn't think japan would attack like that, you know. we thought, gee. what are we supposed to do? because we were right in the middle and we thought, oh, my. we didn't know what to do, actually. >> in the hysteria that followed, president franklin roosevelt authorsed executive order 9066 on february 19th, 1942. japanese nationals and japanese-americans were forcibly relocated. more than 110,000 people were sent to what were called war relocation camps. masako's father was picked up the very first day because he
had donated small amounts of money to the wife of a doctor who had run a generjapanese tea house. >> she took up donations from all the people in tokyo. when the war broke out, everybody listed in this black book were all picked up by the fbi and stuck in the internment camp right away. >> recently married to another japanese-american doctor, masako was recruited to serve as a physician at manzanar. since she knew her family was to be sent to the same relocation camp, she agreed to serve as a doctor. however, she wasn't prepared for the living conditions or what passed for a hospital. >> we just had -- just like a regular room with cots on there and that was it. and army blankets. and then, of course, at that time we had no -- no facilities, medical facilities, at all. all we had was a hot plate, a
wash basin, and a few syringes and needles that we would boil. >> life in the camps was hard, especially for the women. the shame and embarrassment was almost intolerable, and it was masako who spoke out first. >> no privacy at all. and i said, look, you've got to put partitions in, curtains, so that people have a little more privacy, especially the women need it. so finally they got around to it. but it took a long while before i could, you know, convince them to do it. >> masako would spend a year at manzanar then go on to serve as a doctor at the camp in utah in topaz until the end of the war. she would go on to raise a family and return to her career in medicine. despite everything she witnessed and experienced, she's not bitter. she moved on with her life. >> i think it's a matter of keeping contact with everybody, you know. and if people know how you feel
and, you know, if you get along with people, i think you do a lot better. but if you stay isolated, i think that's the worst thing you could do. >> belva: that segment was part of the kqed plus "this is us" series. find a link at kqed.org/t kqed.org/thisweek. next week we talk with the head of the state's republican party. we close tonight with concert footage of warren helmund, the san francisco philanthropist who find the hardly strictly bluegrass festival and the home and family foundation, a kqed donor. helmund passed away in december. sunday, february 19th, there will be a free concert in front of the beach chalet at ocean beach in celebration of his life. here's helmund performing with his band in 2010.